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The 10 Best Work Lights  Sep 2018

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Your Guide To Buying a Work Light

By Yehudah Posnick

    Work lights are a necessity when you have to illuminate a work area. They're handy in workshops, if you are doing woodworking or metal-working. If you're repairing a computer, they allow you to illuminate the area inside the computer case. And some work lights are strong enough to even light up an outdoor setting. You'll find incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, and LED lights used in work lights. And work lights can come in a variety of forms, whether they are supposed to light the work area underneath, or to the side.

    We've put together this work light buyer's guide to help you select the best work light that answers to your needs. It'll help you:

    1. Choose the right type of work light,

    2. See useful tips about that type of work light,

    3. Read reviews of different brands of work lights, and what customers are saying,

    4. Select the right brand of work light, and

    5. Compare prices and find the best deals.

    We can distinguish between the different types of work lights by the type of light bulbs they employ:

    • Incandescent bulbs: These work on a high-resistance tungsten filament becoming red hot as electricity passes through it. Since it has a high resistance, it thus consumes more electricity than the alternatives. But it is low-tech and generally the cheapest. The light bulb is very hot to the touch (around 130 degrees Celsius), so it has to be housed in a protective cage.

    • Halogen lamps: This is a type of incandescent light bulb to which some halogen gas has been added, to extend the lifetime of the tungsten filament. These produce the brightest light, but they are also much hotter than a standard incandescent bulb—as much as 540 degrees Celsius.

    • Fluorescent bulbs: These produce a bright light and also remain cool. But they tend to be bulky, and they also can give a green hue to the surface that they're illuminating. The Bayco SL-975 26 Watt lamp uses fluorescent lights.

    • LED work lights: Light-emitting diodes are solid-state devices that give off light when electricity runs through them. Almost all work lights use LEDs nowadays. They provide more light, consume less electricity, have the longest lifetime and are more compact in size.

      We can also distinguish between the form that the lamp takes:

    • Floor standing model: These can be supported by a pedestal or tripod.Bayco Nightstick NSR-9844XL

    • Table model: These are on a low set of legs, so they're convenient for illuminating a workbench. But some are powerful enough to be used outdoors as well. They are more portable than the floor-standing models.

    • Shop Lights: These are lights that are suspended from the ceiling, to light up the work area.

    • Clamp Lights: These have a clamp to attach to an object in your work area. They can attach to your tabletop, a workbench, or the hood of a car.

    • Flashlights and Headlights: Some flashlights, like the Bayco Nightstick NSR-9844XL have a magnet in their casing, which allows them to attach to the hood of a car. That's handy if your car breaks down and you have to look underneath the hood to see what happened. A headlight has a strap to attach to your forehead, to illuminate the work area.

    Based on all the consumers' reviews we've scanned, these are the top things they mentioned about their new stuff:

    • Requires an electrical cord: Some work lights require hooking up to an electrical outlet. The Bayco SL-975 is a fluorescent lamp that comes with a 25-foot cord. The long cord balances out the need for wall current.

    • Check dimensions: The Snap On 922261 2000 Lumens LED work light is somewhat large, at 10 x 10 x 4 inches. That'll make it difficult to get into small spaces—which may be a consideration if you're doing auto work.

    • Area of the work space you need to illuminate: You should choose the lamp according to the area that you need to illuminate. When dealing with an LED lamp, the number of LEDs will determine what area it can light up.

    • No. of lumens: The worklight's illumination is measured in lumens. Lumens are a better measure of the strength of a light, because different light bulbs yield drastically different amounts of lumens. For example, an incandescent 60 Watt light bulb emits 800 lumens, while a 60 Watt fluorescent bulb will give over 2500 lumens. There are halogen work lamps that provide 8,000 lumens!

    • Bare tool: You'll see that some of the lamps are listed as “bare tools”. That means that they are cordless tools that don't have any batteries inside. For instance, the Bosch FL12 is a cordless bare tool lamp. There is no battery inside the unit when you buy it.

    • Dual lights: There are flashlights with two lights. For example, the Bayco Nightstick NSR-9844XL is a dual-light flashlight. It has one light with a bright center spotlight which can reach 280 meters. But such a brightness tends to drown out details in close-by objects. So the flashlight is equipped with a Cree LED floodlight that has no reflector. That light spreads out evenly over the nearby region. You can also turn on both lights at the same time, to get the advantage of close and far viewing.

    • Rechargeable battery: Most Lithium Ion—flashlights that can run for 1.5 hours on one recharge.

    Snap-On—is a designer and manufacturer of high-end tools for professional tool users. They were founded in 1920 by Joseph Johnson and Bill Seidemann,and have their headquarters in Kenosha, Wisconsin. They make hand, air and electronic tools, including portable work lights.

    Loftek—are makers of LED lights and consumer electronics. They are located in San Francisco, California. Their products include security floodlights, decoration lights, outdoor and indoor gear for camping and hiking, LED light bulbs, and more.

    Bayco—was founded in 1986, as makers of portable and corded lighting products. They make a wide variety of tactical and personal flashlights, headlamps, traffic wands, and gun-mounted lamps. They are located in Wylie, Texas.

    Bosch—was founded in 1886 by Robert Bosch in Stuttgart, Germany as a workshop for precision mechanics and electrical engineering. Their headquarters is presently in Gerlingen, Germany, but they have branches worldwide. They make automotive parts, power tools, security systems, home appliances, and more.